Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wheat Ridge, CO
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Going gf is one of the most important lifestyle choices I have ever made. I hpoe it will be for you as well. I remember a huge learning curve in the beginning and then feeling so settled in and happy with it. I felt a huge shift in my thinking about being gluten free when I stopped focusing on replacing gluten-containing foods with gf ones and started instead focusing on eating lots of veggies and fruits and whole, unprocessed gf grains.
My strategy on affording to be gf is simply to avoid processed/packaged food. We avoid most grain and flour products, basing our diet mostly on vegetables, fruits, and healthy meats along with beans and lentils. I buy flour, grains, and processed products so rarely that we can afford to buy them in bulk at the hfs (like the pp, dd is very sensitive to gluten and she doesn't react to the things I get there, so I feel pretty confident that they're safe). This works especially well during the summertime when we mostly shop at farmer's markets and eat tons of produce.
I also plan meals out a week or two in advance and shop around those plans. That way, if I know money is going to be tight, I can focus on inexpensive meals and if we have a little more money then I can stock up on more expensive things at the hfs. Another thing that helps with this is trying to buy meats in bulk, like a side of beef once per year and free range chickens when they are on good sales. Then I plan meals around what's in my freezer. Also eating vegetarian (still NT friendly, but meatless) several days per week helps as well. (We do alot of sprouted bean dishes, like black beans and rice, garbanzo beans in curry, lentils with sauteed vegetables.)